Our journey in Israel continued today with stop after stop in the Gospels! The Mount of Beatitudes was our first destination. Our bus climbed the hillsides of Galilee until we arrived at Matthew Chapter 5. With the amazing views of the Sea of Galilee and a gentle breeze flowing along the surrounding hillsides, we read together the Beatitudes. Our imaginations took us back to when Jesus himself said those words in the very same area!
From there we drove down to the seashore to find our boat and crew waiting to take us out on the Sea of Galilee. We sailed along as we listened to worship music and took in the amazing views. After the boat came to a stop we turned to God’s Word. Matthew 14:22-33 was read aloud and we remembered Jesus walking on water while we sat on the very place he did it! After sailing back to shore we stopped in at a relatively new exhibit. It houses the boat that two brothers walking along the seashore discovered. This boat is about 2,000 years old which puts it at the time of Jesus and his disciples!
Back on the bus we went and back on the road along the Sea of Galilee. The road passes right by the hillside that Jesus sent the swine down into the sea after casting the demons into them. This account is found in Matthew 8 and Luke 8. Our next stop was for lunch. What better thing to eat than St. Peter’s fish! Unfortunately no one in our group found any four-drachma coins like in Matthew 17 but it was tasty none the less.
After lunch we made a quick stop by Tabgha. This is the location found in Luke 9 where Jesus feeds the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish. From there we headed to Capernaum. You can read an account of great faith at Capernaum by the centurion in Luke chapter 7. There are many great excavations at this site but the most important or special one is the ruins of Peter’s home. What an incredible thing to find where Peter The Rock lived!
We ended our touring day with a special time at the River Jordan. With catfish swimming by and horses playing on the opposite bank, seven members of our tour were baptized! Worship songs were sung and tears were flowing as these seven people declared with their actions what has happened in their hearts.
Back at the hotel we filled up with another amazing buffet dinner. To cap off the evening we all met together in a conference room where our guide Eli met us with his accordion. Together we sang songs and even did some dancing. Who knew after a day of touring we could still make some moves on the dance floor! Now it is off to bed to recharge for tomorrow.